1. #1
    Dreadlord the0o's Avatar
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    Death Knight PVP

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    I created this thread to question the current state of Death Knights in PVP, I see alot of threads/Posts that state :

    Frost is for Random Battlegrounds
    Unholy for Rated / Arena

    My question is why?

    I ran a 2v2 team Mid Cata as a frost DK and did fairly well (1400, i know no where near pro). Frost has alot of burst damage and I didnt have too much trouble suriving attacks atleast in arenas, randoms are a different story when 3-4 dudes are wailing on you.

    Unholy has the damage and the tools but a long setup time. Unless you have a great partner, It takes almost 30 secs to go all out (Gar and Super timmy)


    With the MOP changes, Why is unholy still the "Top" PVP spec for Death Knights?

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  2. #2
    Bloodsail Admiral nerdjames's Avatar
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    Where did you hear that unholy's the way to go? I really haven't seen many unholy DKs, and I'm largely just an arena player. Frost's damage is just too good for most people to pass up, especially in the lower-rated brackets. To me, it actually feels like a frost DK's sustained damage is comparable to an unholy's burst. That damage is a really big deal, since that's the majority of what a DK is right now.

    Unholy's basically got that little bit of extra control from pet stun and seems to be able to survive a little better than a frost DK, though I honestly have no idea why. That could be a big factor though, since those are both things DKs are severely lacking in. They have some of the weakest CC of any class in the game, and despite your experiences they are actually a pretty soft target. Still, I think unholy is pretty uncommon in any PvP area of the game at the moment, which is a shame because it's a much more interesting and skilled spec than frost.

  3. #3
    In a metagame full of burst, Unholy unfortunately does not hold a terrific place. Albeit Unholy comes equipped with more control, peels, and spread damage, it's all rendered trivial to the sustained damage and frequent burst of Frost.

    Frost can burst once a minute (PoF/Trinket) while Unholy waits every three minutes. You can essentially take any comp with a Death Knight, play Frost and improve the comp. Save maybe Shadowcleave. Unholy was always better in Cata because of more survivability and better Necrotic Strikes. Things like: Death's Advance, AMZ, and an improved AMS are not Unholy only anymore. Not to mention how easy pets are cleaved too.

    Nonetheless, I completely agree with asb, Unholy offers a more challenging and rewarding playstyle with a higher skill-cap. Shame Frost is so effective.
    Last edited by Schirm; 2012-12-19 at 04:38 PM.

  4. #4
    in arenas 90% of the dks i've encountered were frost...i'm tempted to say 100% but there might have been 1 or 2

  5. #5
    Frost DK's can be summed up as squishy CC-lacking cannons. Massive damage with little control and mediocre survivability. Unholy is just about the same just now. Defo in need of some love come 5.2.

  6. #6
    I love playing frost dk, but as others said lacking cc really sucks, warriors are ridic

  7. #7
    Frost DKs will annihilate low teams because they don't know how to control a situation, however if you want to give gladiator or R1 a try on a decent BG you'll get your ass handed to you for sure. MoP is currently all about burst, that's why Unholy isn't as good. And we don't really have a lot of CC. Blood Fear 10 sec CD. Shockwave 20 sec. Fist of Justice 30 sec. Polymorph 0 sec. Counterspell 20 sec. Strangulate 2 min, LOL???

  8. #8
    AFAIK Unholy is a lot better for arenas now that they buffed Necrotic Strike to be affected by PVP Power.

    Whilst frost has better burst, Unholy has a lot more consistent damage and pressure, and I mean A LOT, this makes it better in comps such as shadowcleave or DK/Spriest/Healer. Unholy is better than frost even in comps such as TSG.

    Unholy also has much higher survivability because Lichborne heals for a lot more due to talents and mastery.

    The only reason you see mostly frost DKs is probably due to the fact that Unholy is one of, if not the hardest specs to play in the game, whereas Frost is just a braindead 2 button spec.
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  9. #9
    I have been playing frost for a long time in BGs and recently been trying to get used to Unholy again for arena play. The main reason is of course survivability. Frost puts out a lot of pressure, but is easily kited and very squishy in comparison to other melee classes. Sadly, our entire class was left behind, while every other class seems to have gotten some sort of update to CC and survivability the DK still has 2 minute CDs and rune requirements for them.

    Anyway, I digress. I have to say just messing around in BGs I am able to put out the same kind of damage as I was with frost, but my toolkit is sooooooo much higher.

    Disease damage does a ton of damage. Most of the dispel classes actually can't dispel diseases that you see in arena. Druids are magic, curse and poison. Paladins are Magic, poison and disease. Shaman are magic and curse.

    You can sit in blood presence and still put out decent damage because you don't require unholy or frost to buff death coil. (frost basically has to be in frost for frost strike, going blood drops their damage a bunch.)

    You have pet sac available to you immediately to deal with burst.

    Pet gives you stun, a root, an interrupt, and very good damage while you are controlled.

    Unholy frenzy is a get out of jail free card for your healer.

    Mastery increases death coil healing.

    Soul reaper hits WAAAY hard. I have gotten a lot of kills on people that manage to get away with a tiny bit of health but eat a soulreaper while I sit in CC.

    Finally, necrotic strike is really strong for Unholy because of disease damage soul reaper and your ghoul. That basically means you can put out a necro stack and still be putting out decent pressure which is something frost lacks.



    Finally, I will say that it is much harder to play. I had to add a bunch more keybinds and I am still getting used to controlling the ghoul. You have to play more calculated instead of just blowing CDs when they cannot get away as you would with frost.

  10. #10
    I have played frost since wotlk and allways liked the playstyle more than unholy. Current state of frost is good imo, its way better on surviving than it was on cata. Overall it feels pretty balanced, high damage but you die if you go rambo. Still you can survive 4-8 sec cc on your healer, which you had trouble surviving in cata.

    Frost is very good for rated bgs. While unholy gives good dot pressure and necrotics, it lacks burst for finishing a target. Frost can deliver huge burst for nice finishers. Both can do what makes dk strong target caller: grip and aoe grip (aoe grip into shockwave/solar beam/ chaos wave / ring of frost etc). Atm playing rbgs at 2.3-2.4k rating and np with survival as frost if I dont overextend or position myself badly.

    Arena is whole different story, in 3s frost dk will be trained in most cases since after antimagicshell youre a very good target to go on. Mobility comes an issue aswell, dunno how it is with uh. Many dks dont swich to blood presence when they are targetted. Remember it gives a healing buff, damage decrease and with the new glyph its not even wasting your runic power. So remember to bind a macro for swiching between frost and blood presence (frost spec).

    Overall skilled players can succeed on high ratings with both specs, it all comes down to personal skills, team skills and setups. Dk is not very strong class for arena if you compare to other classes, but still it is viable when mastered well.

  11. #11
    In my experience regarding this latest season, frost seems to be the way to go for all pvp. Unholy just doesn't feel right anymore since I last played in season 10 and blood is not invulnerable anymore. Taking out a third of someone's hp with one obliterate (yes it hits hard) is nice and soul reaper is a fun "execute" which really helps against targets prone to escaping frequently.

    The only problem with dks right now is that they have little mobility and mediocre CC and low survivability which results in them being purely glass cannons.

  12. #12
    Generally DKs aren't top dogs atm, no matter what spec you'll play. They aren't bad on their own, but ferals and wars are better. Atm best shot for weapons are RBGs.
    Unholy needs some love, when almost all utility is aviable to frost there's not much point to bother with pet micro.

    P.S. Would really love to see some focus on deceases given back to unholy - atm unholy is probably one of the top contenders for the most dull mastery spot. Introducing some fun cross crit/haste decease scalling for unholy would make spec better (imo), and with all fire&forget dispells removed from game + many ways to reapply deceases new mastery focusing on decease would work out in both pvp and pve. But i guess it's a wishfull thinking, becouse "let mastery increase ele dmg for enchs, frost for fdk, shadow for udk, duplicate physical dmg as holy for rets" is easier. Playing ench mostly i'm seriously envious of SPs becouse of mastery having synergy with on-proc talents.

  13. #13
    Banned Ryan Cailan Ebonheart's Avatar
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    Just going to chime in and call it now that I think Unholy is going to be Overpowered in 5.2

  14. #14
    The Lightbringer shise's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by asb View Post
    Where did you hear that unholy's the way to go? I really haven't seen many unholy DKs,
    That's because unholy takes skill were frost... doesn't really take that much :/

  15. #15
    I don't mean to sound like a dick, but 1400 isn't fairly well, it's actually quite terrible.
    Anyways, Death knights are slightly on the weak side right now, not gladiator material, but you can obviously achieve 2k+, so they're fine in the hands of an average player. And they're probably the easiest class to play in the game.

    And yeah, the only way is frost. Frost does everything UH does, but better, and doesn't depend on pets, who can be killed/cced.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strah View Post
    ...And they're probably the easiest class to play in the game..
    So you wanna say constantly watching runes and their renewal progress to plan you next attacks is as easy as watching plain rage, energy or mana bar? Add unholy with pet management, definitely demands some efforts to play. Its easiest class to play for those who just watching the abilities bar with "oh, I have obliterate active! USE!".
    ***
    Came back to wow 2 weeks ago, leveled my Dk to 90, capped as frost, said "meh" and came back to unholy I got used to play almost all the time...
    ...Then I said "meh" again and came back to frost, since absence of burst hurts a lot, no matter arena (especially arena) or bg. The whole talents system broke unholy playstyle by making the best Dk pvp talents from unholy tree free to choose for any spec, which is a bonus for frost burst. The only things unholy as "features" are garg, frenzy and slightly better necrotix due to +15% nerf. Im sad about the spec, and 5.2 wont fix it much for sure.

    In general IM sad about the class. I think next season will still keep Dks in shade of warriors and hunters

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